Sorcery makes us aware of different realities; different possibilities, not only about the world but also about ourselves, to the extent that we no longer are able to believe in even the most solid assumptions about ourselves and our surroundings. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Being in Dreaming
Don Juan used to take Carlos out into the desert chaparral for numerous reasons but most importantly to have what he called an appointment with knowledge. For many years I have visited such a place in the Sonoran desert of the greater Phoenix area that is affectionately known to us as the place of intent. It is an amazing place, a power place of great magnitude that unerringly alters ones perception and provides a heightened state of awareness just by sitting there.
Last weekend a fellow warrior and I hiked in one evening as the moon was waxing towards full. We brought no flashlights with us, the moon in the desert provides sufficient light and we were able to see quite clearly as we walked deeper into the illuminated darkness. That sounds paradoxical but it isn’t when you are in the desert at night with the light of the moon. Once the eyes adjust you can see everything just as well as you can during the day, everything is just bluer.
Buddha Rock, Sonoran Desert ~ Photo by FW
It is a sublime feeling,” he said, “to be in this marvelous desert, to see those ragged peaks of pseudo-mountains that were really made by the flow of lava of long-gone volcanoes. It is a glorious feeling to find that some of those nuggets of obsidian were created at such high temperatures that they still retain the mark of their origin. They have power galore. To wander aimlessly in those ragged peaks and actually find a piece of quartz that picks up radio waves is extraordinary. The only drawback to this marvelous picture is that to enter into the marvels of this world, or into the marvels of another world, a man needs to be a warrior: calm, collected, indifferent, seasoned by the onslaughts of the unknown. ~ Don Juan, speaking about the Sonoran Desert, The Wheel of Time
While driving through the Sonoran Desert last weekend I snapped this photo of the Buddha rock. I’ve driven past this natural monument countless times and never stopped to take a photo of it before. Towering above everything else, the Buddha is an example of the constant magic unfolding in this extraordinary desert.
You forget too easily, don Juan said. The path of knowledge is a forced one. In order to learn we must be spurred. In the path of knowledge we are always fighting something, avoiding something, prepared for something; and that something is always inexplicable, greater, more powerful than us. ~ A Separate Reality
There is no better way to hone awareness than a walk in the desert under the light of the full moon. I did this for years while living in the Sonoran desert but, I’ve also done it in the mountains, the forest, the ocean and just about any area outdoors as far away from light pollution and noise as I could get. Walking outdoors at any time of day, with intent, was my honing ground, my ultimate teacher, and the allies that reside in those places definitely did spur me on. And depending on where you are will determine which allies appear.